West Bengal’s numbers get curiouser Print
Saturday, 02 May 2020 00:00
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Front page

 

Just how many people in West Bengal are infected with Covid-19 and how many have died due to it? The numbers get curiouser by the day. On Thursday, the expert committee set up by the state said that 105 persons infected by the virus had died, but just 33 of these died due to the virus, the rest died due to existing co-morbidities and the fact that they had coronavirus was incidental.

While that would mean the entire world’s coronavirus deaths will have to be recalculated, a tweet by Amit Malviya who is in charge of the BJP’s IT cell quoted the state’s principal secretary’s letter as giving a much higher number of those infected. While the official number of infected persons was 758 on April 30 – that’s the active cases, the recovered and the dead – the principal secretary’s letter to the central government talks of how the state has four red-zone districts and not 10 which the centre claims; but while doing so, it says the number infected is 931.

If you use the figure of 105 deaths, you get a death rate of 13.8% going by the 758 number and 11.3% going by the 931 number. In both cases, this is 3-4 times the all-India average, which is unlikely. In all probability, as has been seen in other cases, the infection rates are under-reported due to lack of adequate testing.